I’m off to a funeral on Monday - for a charming 15 year old boy who was killed by a drunk hit-and-run driver last week. He was on his scooter on the short drive home from college when he was hit by a car coming in the opposite direction. The driver of the car was on the wrong side of the road. He fled the scene, hit another car in the next village he came to and disappeared. He was identified simply because his front number plate fell off at impact and was found next to the body of the young lad in the roadside ditch. He’d been drinking.
Joshua was the grandson of our close friends and neighbours and, needless to say, it’s been horrendous for them, his parents and their entire family - and will be for a long, long time to come. The number of people affected by Joshua’s death is difficult to imagine - it’s a small rural, close-knit community any just about everyone is touched in some way.
I’m sharing this information, not as a public information broadcast (!), but in the hope that it will simply make some stop and think. I know that many immigrants and second home owners in France drink and drive - I see it happen on a regular basis. It’s almost as if drinking ‘overseas’ doesn’t count. I’ll also admit to having been behind the wheel after a drink - thankfully I haven’t managed to kill anyone.
As part of my small effort at a lasting tribute to Joshua, I will never drink and drive again. Neither will I get into a car when I know the driver has been drinking. This week I’ve witnessed first hand the gut-wrenching results of stupidity. Joshua’s grandmother calls the driver an ‘assassin’ who murdered her beautiful grandson.